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Dec 28, 2015 05:49 AM EST

Gay men can donate blood

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted its 30 year old ban preventing gay and bisexual men from donating blood, Lighthouse News Daily reports.

FDA has now updated its recommendations based on the current standards regarding transmission of human immunodeficiency virus HIV through blood transfusions.

According to Peter Marks, the deputy director of the Center for Biologics Research and Evaluation of the FDA, the 12-month deferral is in keeping with the latest scientific evidence relevant to the population of the United States.

"A history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for exposure to and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS", the FDA said, according to Waltonian.

The FDA bears the responsibility of maintaining the safety of the blood and blood products at a high level of safety.

The agency's policies regarding blood donor deferral have to be supported by continuously updated scientific evidence.

The new FDA's recommendations are now limiting the ban on homosexual and bisexual men to only 12 months. This means that MSM (men who have sex with men) won't be allowed to donate blood one year after their last sexual intercourse.

FDA's use of the most updated scientific evidence associated with donor education materials, deferral questions and advances in testing HIV in donor's blood has reduced the transmission of HIV through blood transfusion from 1 in 2,500 transfusions to 1 in 1.47 million.

The recommendation aligns with the deferral period used for other social groups that are at higher risk of HIV infection.

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